Love of the Prophet's Family
Teaching the principles of Bektashi Path is not an easy task. The murshid is urged to introduce the philosophy of Islamic mysticism step by step, with details and illustrations. Haji Bektash Veli said, “Seek the Truth,” and the great Ali commanded, “Speak to the people in the manner they will understand!”
The murshid leads the believers toward the road of perfection, and continues to show them how they can see the light of Bektashi Path. They shall instill in the murid love for the Prophet Muhammad and his family (Ahl ul-Bayt), affection for their friends (tawalla), and contempt for their enemies (tabarra). The Prophet Muhammad said: “O Allah! Love those who love Ali, and fight those who are his enemies.”
Imam Ali, the closest companion of the Prophet Muhammad, fell victim to the voracity and jealousy of his enemies. Those who committed the horrible crime shall be cursed forever as criminals against humanity and religion. The Bektashi Order considers the Umayyads, the tribe of Mu’awiya, to be the enemies of Islam. Overcome by their ambition and desires they annihilated the entire family of the Prophet, overthrew the Islamic state and established their own ruthless rule.
The act of the Umayyads shook the world and Muslims everywhere. Among those who fell at Karbala was the grandson of the Prophet, Imam Husayn. With him, seventy-two of his devoted companions as well as women and children were massacred. Earlier, Imam Husayn, having learned that the Umayyads were planning a coup d'état, left the city of Madinah and proceeded to Makkah. To prevent bloodshed, he led followers out of Makkah and headed towards Iraq. Yet, the Umayyads pursued them, and at the site of Karbala they surrounded Husayn with ten thousand of their soldiers. The Umayyads cut off the water supply and pressured Husayn to surrender. The son of the great Ali chose death over submission. His martyrdom has been a sacred witness for all Muslims everywhere for generations.
These are the events that murshids shall bring to the attention of believers to instill love for the great Prophet, his family and the Twelve Imams, and to remind believers of the tragic events of Karbala.
Pathfinders discuss the sources of mysticism with believers by emphasizing the Islamic foundation of tasawwuf, the importance of the holy Qur’an, and the words of the Prophet. Not everyone can understand in depth the philosophy and science of Islam. Only the descendants of the Prophet are able to discern the subtleties of tasawwuf. The Prophet Muhammad said, “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its Gate.”
To enter the garden of Islamic knowledge one must pass through the gate, which is the great Ali. The Prophet Muhammad also said, “Ali is my hereditary successor (wasi).” These words do not imply material inheritance, but they relate to the knowledge and the reverence of the Prophet.
After the death of the Prophet, Imam Ali set up the first religious school, madrasah, in Madinah. There he began to teach the philosophy of Islam. After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at Karbala, the school continued to exist. Famous scholars like Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir and Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq were teachers in the school. Students from all over the Muslim world came to study its Islamic philosophy. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq commenced teaching of mysticism, which attracted many students, and this continued for centuries until the time of our master, Hajji Bektash Veli.
The believers of Bektashism revere the Prophet, the great Ali, and the Twelve Imams. They believe that the road of Bektashism is the road of the great Ali.